Sen. Dunbar bears down on short-term rentals: Alaska partiers are a protected class?

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Anchorage Democrat Sen. Forrest Dunbar is looking for a problem to fix with Senate Bill 162. The problem is people who don’t want to rent to partiers. These short-term homeowners are a buzzkill to Dunbar.

The Dunbar party bill would add to the list of actions you cannot take as an owner of real estate in Alaska. You already cannot discriminate based on race, sex, color, gender, sexual status, marriage status, national origin, or just about anything else that distinguishes one person from another.

Dunbar’s bill inserts “residency in this state.” It appears to be a bill aimed at preventing discrimination — but against who?

Against Alaskans.

Evidently, some people in Anchorage like to rent a house for one night in order to have wild parties, and some bed-and-breakfast owners don’t want parties. They want to rent to a different kind of clientele than the ones Dunbar is advocating for.

Dunbar, who is also sponsoring a bill to allow psychedelics to be used on mentally ill patients, believes those who rent houses for short-term should not be able to deny Anchorage partiers from renting homes for their graduation bashes.

The bill pairs well with an anti-free-market bill from Rep. Andrew Gray, another Anchorage Democrat, who proposes to limit bed-and-breakfast owners to having just one short-term property, and no more.

House Bill 184 would require all bed-and-breakfast owners to register with the state and be limited to one rental property. Gray seems to believe, without evidence, that bed-and-breakfast establishments have caused a housing shortage in Alaska. Across the nation, housing shortages are caused primarily by overbearing regulation, but short-term rentals have become the scapegoat.

Now, Sen. Dunbar is adding the party lifestyle as a new protected category in the Alaska statute that covers housing. His bill was pre-filed in advance of the legislative session that starts Tuesday.

19 COMMENTS

  1. You got it right! Trying to solve an issue without a problem.

    There is no proof that vacation rentals have caused our housing problems in Alaska or the US. No proof!

    In this bill, he is trying to take rights away from private property owners not to have their homes or property destroyed by revelers who wish to have fun at someone else’s location and expense for a one-night stand!

    You could turn this around and say that this bill will make it even more difficult for immigrants, legal or illegal, to rent housing in Alaska!

    Untended consequences bite!

  2. Unfortunately for Comrade Dunbar AirBnB flags any potential party rentals and bans the renter from the platform. The biggest red flag is a large rental property being reserved by someone local.

  3. While I wholeheartedly disagree with the proposals by Dunbar and Grey, one can not deny the impact that STRs have had on housing supply and the rental market.

    The STR market will work itself out (they’re still building new hotels in Anchorage) but increasing the supply of new homes needs help.

  4. It is easy to not understand the risk that someone would take to rent for a one night stand, when a one night stand is the high point of your life Forest.

  5. We need a law that says any legislature that passes a law has to pay to maintain that law. They need to pay for all the enforcement paperwork, the department, and everything else if they want some kind of new law. We’ve got more than enough laws and we don’t need Dumbar getting into our personal business.

  6. And we expected different from a young, militant member of the LGBT far left socialist, communist, Marxist, “progressive” crowd?

  7. The consolidated check from Airbnb received by the municipality of Anchorage for the 12% bed tax must be huge. Let’s limited that funding stream and continue to up our property taxes. Brilliant! The assault on small business never ends. The libs continue to chase their tails to give the illusion they are actually working on something. I wish they’d actually work on a real problem rather than the ones they fabricate in their woke laboratory.

  8. Offering a B&B apartment at my family home during the short tourist season has enabled me to be able to manage my ever-inflating local property taxes on my fixed pension. Without this ability, the only solution would be to devalue my property by chainsaw, since the children are grown. I will not submit to the kind of control being pushed by a servant of his pet industry. I will not share my property with anyone I do not desire. I chose to be fair to myself in my own private property. This bill deserves no time on the floor and is an agenda based waste of taxpayer money with no public benefit, perceived or otherwise. The B&B industry is very much self regulated by review and vetting of guests and hosts and enjoys success without further control from this kind of legislation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Party on your own property or rent an appropriate venue if you can.

  9. Short term rentals drive up housing costs, more regulation drives costs up higher. The free market solution is to raise the tax on short term rentals and use the proceeds for low income housing. The market will balance eventually

    • So the “free market” solution is for the government to get involved by raising taxes on some things and using that money to subsidize others?

    • Oh “Frank”…

      You’ve confused socialism with the free market. But confusion seems to be your strong point, so you be you, boo.

  10. A housing shortage in Anchorage … absolutely not! There are over 700 homes in Anchorage that are habitable, but are UNoccupied. If you don’t believe me, take a simple drive around College Village. There you will see several that look fine from the outside and are not used for anyone’s residence. I suggest that Dunbar consult his colleague “Elvie” Gray Jackson about all the available, unoccupied housing in “her” district.

  11. The solution to the housing market issue, dare I say it: let people not afford homes and protect landlords from bad renters. Prices will go down, but people don’t want that either.

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